Vapor intrusion (VI) assessment is complicated by spatial and temporal variability, largely due to compounded interactions among the many individual factors that influence the vapor migration pathway from subsurface sources to indoor air. Past research on highly variable indoor air datasets demonstrates that conventional sampling schemes can result in false negative determinations of potential risk corresponding to reasonable maximum exposures (RME). While high‐frequency chemical analysis of individual chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) in indoor air is conceptually appealing, it remains largely impractical when numerous buildings are involved and particularly for long‐term monitoring. As more is learned about the challenges with indoor air sampling for VI assessment, it has become clear that alternative approaches are needed to help guide discrete sampling efforts and reduce sampling requirements while maintaining acceptable confidence in exposure characterization. Indicators, tracers, and surrogates (ITS), which include a collection of quantifiable metrics and tools, have been suggested as a potential solution for making VI pathway assessment and long‐term monitoring more informative, efficient, and cost‐effective. This review, compilation, and evaluation of ITS demonstrates how even low numbers of indoor air CVOC samples can provide high levels of confidence for representing the RME levels (e.g., 95th percentile) often sought by regulatory agencies for less than chronic effects. A two‐part compilation of available evidence for select low‐cost ITS is presented, with Part 1 focused on introducing the concepts of ITS, meteorologically based ITS, and the evidence from data‐rich studies to support lower cost CVOC VI assessments. Part 1 includes the results of quantitative analyses on two robust residential building VI datasets, where numerous supplemental metrics were collected concurrently with indoor air concentration data. These are supplemented with additional less‐intensive studies in different circumstances. These analyses show that certain ITS metrics and tools, including differential temperature, differential pressure, and radon (in Part 2), can provide benefits to VI assessment and long‐term monitoring. This includes indicators that narrow the assessment period needed to capture RME conditions, tracers that enhance understanding of the conceptual site model, and aid in the identification of preferential pathways and surrogates that support or substitute for CVOC sampling results. The results of this review provide insight into the scientifically supportable uses of ITS.
Remediation – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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